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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Professional Peer Pressue

It's been more than three months since my last post, and I've been taking some heat from some friends and colleagues for my absence. I don't think that's an entirely bad thing, because it suggests that members of my PLN look  to read my posts. Yes, life happens, but I value the importance of regular blogging for professional reflection and learning. Taking time to read, think, and write is critical to learning, and I haven't been doing much of the latter as of late. Although, I've probably sacrificed some personal learning over the past few months, it's time to get back, especially after talking with a friend today who said, "you might as well shut your blog down." Well, I'm not going to shut it down, but his comment did get me thinking about the value of professional peer pressure, especially with respect to the changes that have occurred in our school district.

Many people are quite optimistic about the vision our recently appointed central office administrators have for our students. The focus on student learning, growth, and success is a welcome change to the test score demands that were our primary focus for the past decade. This new vision has already resulted in a what I'll call quality professional peer pressure. Now more than at any time in the past five years, I've consulted with other principals in our district to discuss plans for improving student learning. We are sharing and learning from each other to devise plans that we think will be best for our students. In the past, principals were hesitant to share their plans because we were forced to compete with each other for improved test scores, which was anything but quality professional peer pressure. Quality professional peer pressure encourages educators to read, write, and think together to improve student learning, as much as it has gotten me back to generating a long awaited post.

Please share your thoughts on how we can utilize professional peer pressure to improve our learning and practice, to ultimately improve student learning.

5 comments:

  1. Great post, I believe your thoughts on quality professional peer pressure are rooted firmly in both common sense AND research. Setting the bar a little higher and challenging one another is how professionals get better. I hope the vision by the central office administrators continues to foster a culture that values open communication, honesty, and trust.

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    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Joe. I've been thinking about how we can continue to encourage each other to read, think, and write, and perhaps quality professional peer pressure is one way we can get the ball rolling. It will improve learning for all of us. Thanks again.

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  2. Hi Sam! I am just glad to read that you have this professional peer pressure in regards to blogging and social media. That in itself speaks volumes of you PLN. Would speak even louder if it is peer pressure from your colleagues in your own district. I think this peer pressure is a great little nudge to try new things and experiment with new strategies and resources.

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    1. Tim - Thanks for reading and commenting. It absolutely is a great little nudge, as you put it. Also, the professional peer pressure I wrote about actually did come from a colleague in my district, so you are right on the money! Thanks again, Tim. Hope all is well.

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  3. Well said Sammy--Working together rather than competing with one another will make a difference in our profession and create that professional peer pressure. The narrow focus of test scores minimizes what we do as educational leaders and lacks the vision needed to move forward. Welcome back!

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